We’re three games into the season, and the 1-2 Bobcats have already answered a key question: how bad must things get before Ben Gordon is allowed to play? We got our answer Saturday night when coach Clifford pulled the ol’ sub-all-five-starters-at-once move at the start of the third quarter. This was after the Cats committed a 24-second violation and then failed to inbound the ball within 5 seconds. More importantly, it was after a half in which the winless Pelicans handled the Bobcats like a lunchbox en route to an easy 21-point win. In came Gordon, Ramon Sessions, Cody Zeller, Jeffrey Taylor, and Jeff Adrien. Out went Charlotte’s dignity.
Coach Clifford was right to empty the bench like a full bladder, because the Bobcats are failing miserably on offense and need to find some combination of players who can generate some scoring. Al Jefferson’s bum ankle, which has kept him out of games 2 and 3, definitely has something to do with it, but even with him in the lineup in the season opener vs. the Rockets, the team only had a 96.8 offensive rating, which would still just rank 27th in the league. Overall, the Bobcats are sitting in the offensive toilet, generating a pathetic 91.7 rating, good for 29th place, ahead of only the one team they didn’t manage to miss less than, the Cleveland Cavaliers.